Argumentative Essay Topics Death Penalty

A List Of Original Argumentative Essay Topics On The Death Penalty


Few issues in the United States are more contentious than the use of the death penalty as a punishment for severe crimes. Capital punishment has been recorded almost since the dawn of written history, but in today’s world, many people have come to see it as unnecessary and inhumane. Although some people are opposed to taking the lives of criminals, other people argue that it’s the best way to deal with serious crimes. They feel that these people have committed such terrible atrocities that they can never realistically be rehabilitated and reintroduced into society. The debate has been ongoing for a long time, with both sides expressing strong opinions.

Because the death penalty is so contentious, it’s a great subject for an argumentative essay. This type of essay revolves around the presentation of a particular stance on an issue, which you need to defend with logic, facts, and sound reasoning. You’ll need to do some research to gather relevant facts that support your point of view, then tie them together in a cohesive paper that presents a lucid argument based on the evidence. Because argumentative essays are such a useful tool for developing and evaluating critical thinking skills, you’ll have to write several of them during high school and college.

There are many arguments that you can make for, or against, the death penalty. Here are a few potential topics regarding capital punishment, which you can consider if you’re writing an argumentative essay.

  • The death penalty is a deterrent that prevents potential criminals from committing serious crimes like murder.
  • The death penalty is not effective at preventing crime.
  • Capital punishment is more cost-effective than lifetime incarceration, which requires the State to pay for a person’s food, lodging, healthcare, and other things for the rest of their lives.
  • The death penalty, “a life for a life,” is a just response to murder.
  • The justice system does not have the intrinsic moral right to take a life, even that of a murderer.
  • The death penalty is more humane than lifetime imprisonment.
  • The death penalty is cruel and inhumane.
  • Lethal injection is a painless and humane method of execution.
  • Lethal injection is ethically questionable, can cause pain, and is often administered by people who are not trained medical professionals.
  • People deserving of the death penalty can never be rehabilitated or reintroduced to society.
  • Capital punishment deprives the individual of the chance for redemption and rehabilitation.
  • The death penalty creates the risk of the execution of someone who is actually innocent.
  • The death penalty can be abused or applied unfairly, making it dangerous to allow capital punishment.
The idea of putting another human to death is hard to completely fathom. The physical mechanics involved in the act of execution are easy to grasp, but the emotions involved in carrying out a death sentence on another person, regardless of how much they deserve it, is beyond my own understanding. However, this act is sometimes necessary and it is our responsibility as a society to see that it is done. Opponents of capital punishment have basically four arguments.

The first is that there is a possibility of error. However, the chance that there might be an error is separate from the issue of whether the death penalty can be justified or not. If an error does occur, and an innocent person is executed, then the problem lies in the court system, not in the death penalty. Furthermore, most activities in our world, in which humans are involved, possess a possibility of injury or death. Construction, sports, driving, and air travel all offer the possibility of accidental death even though the highest levels of precautions are taken.  These activities continue to take place, and continue to occasionally take human lives, because we have all decided, as a society, that the advantages outweigh the unintended loss. We have also decided that the advantages of having dangerous murderers removed from our society outweigh the losses of the offender.

The second argument against capital punishment is that it is unfair in its administration. Statistics show that the poor and minorities are more likely to receive the death penalty. Once again, this is a separate issue.  It can’t be disputed sadly, the rich are more likely to get off with a lesser sentence, and this bias is wrong. However, this is yet another problem of our current court system. The racial and economic bias is not a valid argument against the death penalty. It is an argument against the courts and their unfair system of sentencing.

The third argument is actually a rebuttal to a claim made by some supporters of the death penalty. The claim is that the threat of capital punishment reduces violent crimes. Opponents of the death penalty do not agree and have a valid argument when they say, “The claims that capital punishment reduces violent crime is inconclusive and certainly not proven.”

The fourth argument is that the length of stay on death row, with its endless appeals, delays, technicalities, and retrials, keep a person waiting for death for years on end. It is both cruel and costly. This is the least credible argument against capital punishment. The main cause of such inefficiencies is the appeals process, which allows capital cases to bounce back and forth between state and federal courts for years on end. If supporting a death row inmate for the rest their life costs less than putting them to death, and ending their financial burden on society, then the problem lies in the court system, not in the death penalty. As for the additional argument, that making a prisoner wait for years to be executed is cruel, then would not waiting for death in prison for the rest of your life be just as cruel, as in the case of life imprisonment without parole.

Many Americans will tell you why they are in favor of the death penalty. It is what they deserve. It prevents them from ever murdering again. It removes the burden from taxpayers. We all live in a society with the same basic rights and guarantees. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with equal opportunities. This is the basis for our society. It is the foundation on which everything else is built upon. When someone willfully and flagrantly attacks this foundation by murdering another, robbing them of all they are, and all they will ever be, then that person can no longer be a part of this society. The only method that completely separates cold blooded murderers from our society is the death penalty.

As the 20th century comes to a close, it is evident that our justice system is in need of reform. This reform will shape the future of our country, and we cannot jump to quick solutions such as the elimination of the death penalty. As of now, the majority of American supports the death penalty as an effective solution of punishment.

“An eye for an eye,” is what some Americans would say concerning the death penalty. Supporters of the death penalty ask the question, “Why should I, an honest hardworking taxpayer, have to pay to support a murderer for the rest of their natural life? Why not execute them and save society the cost of their keep?” Many Americans believe that the death penalty is wrong. However, it seems obvious to some Americans that the death penalty is a just and proper way to handle convicted murderers.

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